Halloween is the only American tradition keeping me somewhat patriotic right now.
This holiday celebrates creativity, being unusual, things that are spooky and upping your sugar intake. Who doesn’t like that? Besides, you learn a lot about yourself on Halloween. Just a couple things I’ve discovered during this spooktacular holiday? One: I make a damn sexy dude. And two: spooky music about death, ghosts and all kinds of things Halloween-esque rock the hardest.
So below is a playlist of 31 punk, indie, and rock ‘n’ roll songs, new and old, that’ll make the shivers going down your spine so intense that you can’t help but boogie down.
Press play and follow on Spotify.
Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, “Eyes Wide Shred”
We, of course, need to kick off with a metal banger that’ll melt your face like this one.
Ex-Cult, “Knives on Both Sides”
From the member of Ty Segall’s GØGGS, Chris Shaw gives us another freaky thrasher with his own project.
The combo of distorted shredding and guttural screaming about being wet really gets you in the Halloween mood.
Misfits, “Astro Zombies”
If you want to have a true punk rock Halloween, then you have to have a Misfits song. This catchy crowd pleaser will get everyone singing along to lyrics about exterminating the whole human race.
The Cramps, “I Was A Teenage Werewolf”
The Cramps are a lot of things creepy—a human fly, a goo goo muck, a mad daddy—but a teenage werewolf is the most Halloween one.
Bush Tetras, “Swamp Song”
These pioneering punkers got back together this year to provide the world with another creepy album to blow your mind.
The Buttertones, “Sadie’s a Sadist”
With the story it weaves about a girl worshipping Satan, this song is a scary movie just in itself.
Hooded Fang, “Graves”
This spooky psych thriller of a song will have you losing your mind.
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, “Pine Box”
This band takes all the creepy parts of religion and sets them to fast and catchy punk rock riffs.
C.R.E.E.P., The Fall
Another punk rock pioneer we’ll never forget, even from beyond the grave.
Black Lips, “Lucid Nightmare”
The slide guitar and raspy voice is scary enough to give you goosebumps.
Belle & Sebastian, “Your Cover’s Blown”
This spunky, disco-esque track will get you looking over your shoulder while you bust a move.
Cool Ghouls, “Supernatural Forces”
This catchy indie jam has some spooky lyrics, but will get you wanting to hang with some chill-ass ghosts.
A Giant Dog, ”Night Terror”
A badass track from the Texas group that’s all about waving their freak flags high.
The Detroit Cobras, “Bad Girl”
You’ll want to be a bad girl after hearing this thrasher.
Liza Anne, “Paranoia”
For this track you’re going to want to let your split personalities come out to mosh along together.
The Like, “Wishing He Was Dead”
There’s always a maniacal laugh that plays in my head at the end of this whiskey a-go-go-inspired song.
Karen Elson, “The Ghost Who Walks”
This slow-burning, organ-drenched spooky torch song is perfect for some scary stories by the fire.
The Deadly Ones, “Monster Surfing Time”
Here’s a spooky ’60s surf rock jam to keep things groovy.
Morricone Youth, “Barber Twist”
These guys cover themes from scary movies like Night Of The Living Dead but this one, from the 1927 cult classic Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans, is the most danceable by far.
Sugar Candy Mountain, “666”
A slow one for all the spooky lovers out there who’ve got their own devil of their heart this Halloween.
Led Zeppelin, “In The Evening”
This one builds up for a long time until it jumps out at you for that heart-pounding scare.
The Rubinoos, “I Think We’re Alone Now”
This track is freaky when you remember a creepy John Goodman dancing to it in 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Stevie Wonder, “Sunset”
This song is scary mostly because it’s an underage Stevie Wonder singing about being abandoned after dark, but also this tune is so smooth and catchy you can’t help but close your eyes and sway along.
Eddie Noack, “Psycho”
A classic country blues song that tells the story of serial killings from the eyes of the murderer. (The Growlers do a great cover of it too.)
The Poppy Family, “Where Evil Grows”
Any song about evil is spookier when it comes from the Charles Manson-era since it’s possibly referencing that real-life evil.
Messer Chups, “Twin Peaks Twist”
This is a Twin Peaks-inspired rockabilly tune that feels mysterious, bizarre and creepy all in one.
Tiny Tim, “People Are Strange”
There’s a reason Tiny Tim songs are included in many horror movie soundtracks, just take a listen.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, “I Put A Spell On You”
I had to include at least one Halloween classic, and this one is definitely the coolest one.
Jan Terri, “Get Down Goblin”
And last but not least, just a spooky ‘lil Halloween treat for you guys.